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I Follow in the Dust She Raises is a collection
of deeply personal poems born
from a life sharply observed. Linda
Martin takes readers from the mountains
of the West to the shores of Alaska,
as she delves into the rippling depth
of childhood experiences, tracks the
moments that change a life, and settles
into the fine grooves of age. Exploring
the ties of family and grief, Martin’s unflinching
poetry ripples with moments
of extraordinary beauty plucked from
what seem like ordinary lives.
Martin’s I Follow in the Dust She Raises is the kind of poetry that invites the word luminous, so impoverished by overuse it can no longer light the inside of a bulb, much less invoke noonday. Too many blurbs have been attached to a series of lesser books that make the mistake of working nature by subtraction—assuming that an endless wheat field with a tractor in it under an immense Nebraska sky—offer a limned absence that by itself could bring us to metaphysical tears. . . . To simple but potent effect, Martin starts from zero and works by addition.
Martin’s work will take you on one woman’s lifelong journey in pursuit of that intangible goal: to be content, a theme that her work so beautifully embodies. Perhaps if you faithfully journey through these pages with her, by the end, you will realize that you have found that same thing as well.
—The Homer News
Mother, father, brother, sister,
husband, daughter, son populate this
book. But these relationships, past or
present, are not static. As they move
in time and place—Montana, Idaho,
Manhattan, Alaska—the poems map
an inner geography, spaces of loss and
acceptance, memory and survival. They
are stepping stones through a life only
as ordinary as the truth of art. Martin’s
poems belie their artfulness almost
with the ease of conversation; they ask
for little but give much. Few poets can
trace an itinerary of the heart with such
distinctive grace and clarity.
—Stan Sanvel Rubin author of Hidden Sequel
These are poems of a humane poet
who has made communion with our
great ancient stories: when she
sweeps away loss, she discovers
wonder, when she wipes away
tears, she discovers play, and when
she faces difficult deaths, she reminds
us that we all must face our
lives even when they skim ‘lightly
on the tide, white, fine as baby
hair.’ This is a splendid book of fire
author of The Book of
Men and Women
Linda Martin lives in Homer, Alaska, where she and her husband own and operate
a glass shop.
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